Heineken is readying its advertising campaign centring on this year's rugby World Cup.

The brewer, which holds the 'Official Beer of the Rugby World Cup' title, said today (13 June) that the campaign, entitled 'Continental Shift', has recently launched and will start the countdown to the tournament's opening game in France on 7 September.

A television advert will be the centrepiece of the push, based around the idea that rugby fans will do anything to get to the world cup. Filmed in several locations around the world, the fans are seen scrumming down together to shift the world's continents closer to Paris.

"(The new campaign) creates a unique atmosphere around the tournament and will bring enjoyment to Heineken rugby fans around the world," said Melinda Eskell, manager of Heineken brand communication. "We want to show the epic nature of this world-class event and our world-class beer. It's all about fans, the game and our beer working as one to literally bring the world closer together."

The campaign comprises a range of activities, Heineken said, including television and ten-second break bumpers, print ads, cinema ads, on- and off-premise promotions, promotional packaging, consumer PR activities, and a website, www.heineken.com/rwc2007, which contains the Heineken Fantasy Rugby 2007 game.

The TV commercial recently aired for the first time in New Zealand.

Heineken said its partnership with the tournament will be activated with particular focus on the major rugby playing nations of France, the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.